RECYCLED WOOD AND PLASTIC TO MANUFACTURE FIRE AND MOISTURE RESISTANT FURNITURE
A European project with Spanish participation develops a new composite for furniture and coatings from waste from the wood industry and recycled thermoplastics.
A new material for furniture and coverings that is resistant to fire, humidity and fungi thanks to the recovery of waste. This is the fruit of the European LIMOWOOD project, in which seven partners from four different countries participate, among them the Technological Institute of Aragon (ITAINNOVA), attached to the Department of Industry and Innovation of the Government of Aragon, and the companies Javal and Inspiralia. The research is funded by the VII Framework Program for R&D of the European Union (FP7), specifically by the Research for the benefit of SMEs initiative.
From the remnants of the wood industry and recycled thermoplastics, it has been possible to obtain a new plastic and wood composite (Wood Plastic Composite-WPC) with wide application in the manufacture of panels for coatings and bathroom and kitchen furniture, which it combines greater resistance to fire, humidity and fungi, while avoiding the use of chemical coatings and adhesives.
The knowledge acquired in the research process will also reach other sectors, since the demand for WPC is increasing worldwide for a wide variety of uses.
The European LIMOWOOD project has achieved a novel advanced material with a very competitive manufacturing price that satisfactorily covers the gap that currently exists between pure solid wood furniture and low-end furniture, of low cost but with very limited duration and quality. .
After two years of work, the result of the investigation has been enormously satisfactory. During this period, various tests have been carried out with different chemical formulations and proportions of the components, to choose the best combination. Thanks to a detailed study of flame retardant products and fungicidal compounds, the highest classification has been achieved in fire resistance tests, as well as good fungistatic and fungicidal behaviour. Also, the formulated material stands out for its ease of use in machining, sawing and assembly tasks.
LIMOWOOD material includes a considerable percentage of recycled material, both from the wood and plastic industries, which constitutes a contribution to improving environmental sustainability.
Its resistance to fire makes it possible to replace materials such as PVC. Furthermore, it is a versatile solution that can be used in extrusion as well as in the preparation of compression panels.
All this makes it an innovative element perfectly suited to the current standards of the industry of manufacturing of coatings and furniture, while promoting the commitment of the sector to greener and healthier solutions, complying with the European directives on the matter.
Expectations for the commercialization of the product are very high, according to those responsible for the project, since the segment that it affects directly or indirectly is very broad (hospitality, offices, education, workspaces, culture, etc.).
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Translated by: ABR Ezzy